Cleaning Guides

What Is the Difference Between Deep Cleaning and Regular Cleaning Services?

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In the past, having a cleaner or maid was considered a luxury for the fortunate and privileged. However, times have changed, and more people, including busy families and young professionals, now value their free time. They often choose to delegate their house chores to cleaning companies or self-employed cleaners, even if it means incurring expenses.

Now, let’s discuss why you’re here: the difference between one-time deep cleaning and regular cleaning. Many clients, whether first-timers or not familiar with having their homes cleaned by others, often find themselves confused about what to expect and how to allocate their budget.

The purpose of this guide is to provide clarity and shed some light on the difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning houses. By understanding the nuances that set a thorough one-time clean apart from regular housekeeping, you can make more informed decisions about your cleaning preferences and budget allocation.

Table of Contents:

What is a deep clean?

The deep clean meaning refers to a thorough and comprehensive cleaning that goes beyond regular day-to-day or weekly cleaning tasks. It involves cleaning areas and items that are often overlooked in routine cleaning and may accumulate dirt, dust, and grime over time.

Deep house cleaning of an entire property is rarely done on a regular basis, even by the most fastidious cleaning fanatic, be it a homeowner or a renter. Hence, in the industry, the service is also referred to as one-off deep cleaning.

This means that it is ordered just the once and no follow-up assistance is expected by the client. And exactly because the service is purchased as a one-off solution, the buyer can count on their place to be cleaned thoroughly and with strong attention to detail in mind.

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What does deep cleaning include?

Let’s clear one thing, first.

A one-off cleaning service is charged commonly per hour (in the same way regular cleaning is billed). So, what a cleaner will manage to deep clean around your home will largely depend on the amount of time you’ve booked for the service. The more time you allocate for the pro to sanitise your property, the more detailed would be the cleaning.

In general, apart from the unquestionable vacuuming, cobweb removal, mopping and dusting that any house cleaning process involves, you can request various other tasks to be completed in much more detail. Or in other words, areas, features and fixtures that one would normally skip when tidying their home on a weekly basis, can be addressed and deep cleaned, upon request.

Let’s look at an example of what extra you can have scrubbed, polished and washed as part of your one-off deep cleaning service:

  • Furniture – You can request for furniture to be polished on the inside, as well, including wardrobe shelves, kitchen cupboards, storage units, etc;
  • Fixtures – From door knobs and handles, light switches, sockets and light fixtures to curtain poles, skirting boards and trim work, the cleaner can wipe clean those for you;
  • Windows – The glass panel on the inside, the frames and sills can be washed sparkling clean, if that’s what your home needs. If applicable, your blinds can be dusted, as well;
  • Surfaces – This can include the deep cleaning of tiled surfaces, be it your bathroom walls or the splashback in the kitchen. Mirrors, picture frames, bannisters, etc. can be polished by the pro, too;
  • Appliances – Your fridge, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, cooker, toaster, coffee machine and kettle can be sanitised to a shiny finish;
  • Bathroom and kitchen – In these frequently used rooms, you can have all chrome/metal fixtures, accessories and surfaces, which would normally get a quick wipe, deep cleaned, descaled and polished;
  • Hard-to-reach places – The top of wardrobes and bookcases, under and behind furniture and kitchen appliances – these spots are hardly ever addressed during your daily/weekly vacuuming around the house;
  • Additional rooms – Studies, guest rooms, conservatories, balconies often can’t be properly cleaned by a regular maid who is hired to tidy up a property within about 2-3 hours.

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    What is regular cleaning?

    Regular cleaning involves a cleaner visiting your home regularly, whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. However, the difference between a deep clean and regular cleaning go beyond just the frequency of visits.

    What is a regular house clean all about?

    The main difference between housekeeping and a deep cleaning service is that the maid or cleaner can do so much in the hours that they have been booked for.

    They shouldn’t be asked to meticulously scrub the tiles and grout in the bathroom, for instance, while there are still vacuuming, mopping and dusting waiting to be done. The pro usually follows the client’s instructions and a priority task list, which can be changed at times by the client.

    For example, the customer may ask for their interior windows to be cleaned once a month, while in the rest of the weekly visits, only the window sills to be wiped clean.

    In addition, apart from the common housekeeping tasks like vacuuming of floors and upholstered furniture, dusting of surfaces, mopping and tidying up the kitchen and bathroom, the maid (who is always the same one, every time) can be assigned to do the following:

    • Change the bedding;
    • Do the dishes;
    • Laundry, ironing, folding up clothes;
    • Nip to the dry cleaners (if in close proximity);
    • Put away scattered toys;
    • Empty the bins;
    • General tidying (ex: put magazines away);
    • Vacuum/sweep the patio;
    • Feed the cat.

    So, to sum up, a regular cleaner is usually responsible for doing the light housework in a said household, where tasks can be different, according to the client’s cleaning needs. Often, there’s a trusty relationship, gradually built between the helper and the homeowner to the extent that the maid/cleaner is treated as if they’re part of the family, believe it or not.

    What regular cleaners do not do and other frequently asked questions

    Q: What regular cleaners do not do?
    A: There are limits to what you can expect from your regular cleaner. It’s inappropriate, and possibly illegal, to ask them to handle responsibilities like caring for your toddler, looking after an ailing family member, or performing tasks such as cooking, heavy lifting, or gardening. Cleaners are typically focused on cleaning tasks within the home and should not be asked to take on unrelated responsibilities.

    Q: Why is deep cleaning so expensive?
    A: Deep cleaning tends to be more expensive due to its time and labor-intensive nature. It involves thorough cleaning of often neglected areas, requiring specialized equipment, cleaning agents, and skilled personnel.

    Q: How long does a deep cleaning usually take?
    A: The duration of a deep cleaning can vary depending on the size of the space and the specific tasks involved. It may take several hours or even a whole day to complete, as it goes beyond regular cleaning in its thoroughness.

    Q: What not to do before a deep cleaning?
    A: Before a deep cleaning, it’s advisable not to clean or tidy up extensively. The goal is for the cleaning professionals to see the space in its regular state to address all areas that need attention. Additionally, it’s best not to interfere with their work by attempting to clean specific areas beforehand.

    Q: Does deep cleaning remove stains?
    A: Deep cleaning can help reduce or eliminate certain stains, but its effectiveness depends on the type of stain, the surface, and how long the stain has been present. Some stains may require specialized stain removal treatments in addition to deep cleaning.

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    How end of tenancy cleaning differs from one-time deep cleaning

    For a start, an end of lease cleaning service is designed to make a rental property in a rentable state. And don’t confuse the above with the regular cleaning of short lets, such as Airbnb properties.

    The service can be purchased by the tenant who’s got a security deposit at stake or by the landlord who will deduct from the tenant’s deposit, in order to have their property cleaned to a high standard.

    Here are some major differences between the two deep cleaning service options:

    1. The service is not limited by time. Unlike the one-off hourly service, the move-out cleaning service is more often than not charged per job. So, it doesn’t matter how long it takes the cleaners to turn the property again into rentable accommodation.
    2. The pros follow an agency-approved cleaning checklist. There are industry-agreed standards as to how properties for rent should look in terms of cleanliness, whereas a private homeowner may choose what they want specifically addressed and what not to be touched and cleaned for whatever reason.
    3. The end of lease cleaners often work in teams. If a one-off cleaner can do so much in the hours that they have been hired for, an end of lease cleaning job is best done by more than one cleaner if the service is not limited by time and the pros cannot leave until the property looks perfect, according to the checklist. This is why domestic cleaners shouldn’t be used for end of tenancy cleaning.
    4. They are expected to bring professional equipment and detergents. A vacated property will not necessarily have all the cleaning tools and supplies needed for the job and those are always included in the cost of the service. A one-off cleaner may use the client’s detergents, mop and vacuum cleaner unless arranged otherwise.
    5. The end of lease cleaning service comes with a guarantee. When there’s a monetary interest involved, outside the actual expense of the service, a comprehensive guarantee, offered by the service provider, is a must.


    We hope that now you’ve got a clearer picture of the difference between regular cleaning and deep cleaning services. Here are some final thoughts on the matter:

    • Booking a one-off deep cleaning service will help you enjoy a home that has been scrubbed and sanitised in detail as an end result.
    • You’ve got the option to prioritise what needs doing when you hire a professional one-off cleaner.
    • Renters and landlords should resort to end of tenancy cleaning solutions when in need of specialist cleaning assistance at the end of their mutual property rental agreement.
    • It’s simply wrong to ask your regular cleaner to remove stains from your carpet, scrub your greasy oven, wash your windows on the outside, etc. Book specialised cleaning services, instead.
    • Respect the limitations of your maid’s expertise rather than ending up with expectations, which are not quite met.

    Did you find this post helpful? Then, why not share it with your friends? Or would you like to share any cleaning service experiences you might have in the comment box below!

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